This Saturday is UFC 281 on November 12, 2022, live from Madison Square Garden in New York City. The event is being headlined by Israel Adesanya vs. Alex Pereira for the UFC Middleweight Championship and is one of the most highly anticipated title defenses for the current champion, Adesanya. But, this fight will be unlike any from the past. This time, it’s do or die.
Both fighters have only one loss on their record. Israel’s comes by way of Jan Blachowicz, when Israel Adesanya moved up a weight class to try to capture light heavyweight gold. Alex Pereira’s on the other hand, came in his first ever MMA fight back in 2015, but he has not lost since. Alex has only three fights in his UFC career, which interestingly enough started just one year ago on November 6, 2021. Now, with just three fights and one year under the UFC umbrella, Alex has risen to become one of the quickest fighters to get a championship shot. But, why? Well, if you don’t know, this isn’t the first time Alex and Israel fought each other. In fact, that’s what this whole stories been about. These two men went to battle under kick-boxing rules where Alex won both times they faced, and even knocked Israel out in the second encounter, becoming the first man to do so back in 2017. Now, five years later, these two meet again under a new set of rules inside of a mixed martial arts cage, on the biggest stage of them all, Madison square garden.
We’ve heard all the chatter, can Alex knock him out again? Will Alex prove the first time wasn’t a fluke? Well, what about Israel? I’m my opinion, the pressure is just as much on him as the champion, as it is on the challenger. This time, Israel is fighting to prove he’s one of the greatest to ever do it and to re-write the past, getting back that knockout from 2017. Israel went on record to say during an interview with Ariel Helwani that this fight is personal.
It is (just another fight) but, it’s personal. This is about me and my legacy. This is about, I guess, rewriting history, even though it is history and I never chased this, this is about me rewriting a new path of history and just showing people what I could really do cause, again, y’all must’ve forgot.Israel Adesanya via MMAHour
But, there’s a darker, more sinister Israel going into this fight. One that’s not only looking for revenge, but one that’s looking to make this the worst night of Alex Pereira’s life. During an interview with TMZ Sports, the champion explained how he’s looking to make this fight look like a horror movie.
It was business as usual. But I’ll say I want to make this a horror movie. I want to keep that theme. I want to make this a horror movie.Israel Adesanya via TMZSports
Adesanya kept that theme going when he made a post on Instagram just yesterday of his training camp with the caption “Game Over.” The last slide on the post is a video, showing a scene from the popular SAW movie tranches, with the clip saying “Most people are so ungrateful to be alive, but not you, not anymore, GAME OVER.” If you are unfamiliar with the movie series, the main character “Jigsaw” puts people through a series of “games” that they must win to stay alive, or else they die. And reading into the post, it seems in this story, Israel Adesanya is Jigsaw, while Alex Pereira is playing the game, it just so happens that the game is a fist fight inside of the cage. Either Alex wins to stay alive, or Izzy puts him unconscious. In this game, there is no Try Again. Only Game Over.
I want to be the first person he sees when he wakes up. I want to make sure I’m right in his line of sight so that when he wakes up he’s looking at me and then looking at the ref and… I want to be the first person he sees when he wakes up… that’s how I see this fight goingIsrael Adesanya via TMZSports
Hello, Do You Wanna Play A Game?
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